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¶ rss aggregators
this is for the blogging n00bs.

scenario: You like reading news sites. And blogs. And maybe Dilbert. The problem is that all of these are frequently updated, and you don't want to miss anything, but it's a pain in the ass to go click on every single web page every time you want to know if there's something new. Something more convenient is desired... that can just tell you in a single glance if a new story/article/comic is out.

solution: Create a standard format for distributing this kind of frequently updated content. Call it RSS. An RSS feed describes pieces of dated information. Whenever a news article or comic is published on a web site, the RSS feed for that web site is also updated. The reader (you) can then run a program to automatically and periodically harvest the RSS feeds and tell you if there's something new. This way, the situation has become a interrupt-based model instead of a polling-based model1.

These RSS feed readers are commonly known as RSS aggregators. There are now like a billion of them in existence. I have been using RSS Bandit. It looks and acts just like an e-mail client. You give it a list of RSS feeds, leave it running, and whenever something new arrives, it notifies you. If you find a client you like better (brandon?) please let me know. I definitely haven't tried all of them.

Pretty much every major news site, online comic strip, and blogging engine in existence publishes an RSS feed. This page has a nice list of popular feeds. My feed is linked at the top of my page. Xanga feeds can be reached at http://www.xanga.com/rss.aspx?user=username
1A nice, albeit somewhat extreme, way of describing the difference between interrupt and polling models of delivering messages was explained to me as follows. Consider messages delivered over the phone. We all use an interrupt-based model - when someone has something to tell you, your phone rings, interrupting you. You then pick it up and take the message. In a polling-based model, however, it would be like you picking up the phone every 10 seconds and saying, "hello???"

Re: rss aggregators
Posted 17 years, 10 months ago by Brandon Fuller • @ wwwReply
I am now using SharpReader. Its another .NET RSS reader. I used RSS Bandit once I think. I can't say what is better or worse about these two. I also tried NewsGater but I didn't like it. It integrates with Outlook. I feel like the best RSS reader is still to be written. MS will likely do it eventually.
Re: rss aggregators
Posted 17 years, 10 months ago by Sumi • • Reply
Hmm, this sounds familiar, 'Bot... ;-) (though I haven't been making good use of it! Bad Smee!)

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